12/05/2017 BBC Newsline

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A Londonderry businessman who played a key role in the peace process


Brendan Duddy spent more than two decades acting as an intermediary


between the IRA's Army Council and British intelligence.


His Derry home was used as a venue for secret meetings.


Here's our North-West reporter, Keiron Tourish.


This was a rare glimpse into the secret life of a two-year-old


Brendan Duddy. The official handover of his private papers to Galway


University five years ago. Documenting his work during the


Troubles. The prominent dairy businessman who had suffered a


stroke in 2010 had been helping to build the peace process since the


1970s. The father of six was the subject of a major documentary by


BBC journalist Peter Taylor. He has been reporting on Northern Ireland


for many decades. He revealed that the more than 20 years, Brendan


Duddy was a secret intermediary between individuals the British


security services and the IRA's bowling Council through Martin


McGuinness. It was claimed those contacts ultimately led to the IRA


ceasefire and Good Friday Agreement. The first thing to do was to replace


the bombings and the killings with dialogue. It seems simple but that


was the essence of everything, dialogue. And every day of peace was


a life saved. This is a simple room in a simple family house. This is


where it all happened. One man who played a similar role as an


intermediary between the IRA and the British Government says Brendan


Duddy's rule was significant. From the early days, I do remember him


saying it is inevitable, it is necessary, it is a must that the


British must talk to the IRA and the IRA must talk to the British, so I


think his biggest legacy is that his analysis was correct and his


persistency ultimately came to the place he thought it would. Many


observers believe that ultimately it is the work done away from the glare


of publicity that helps establish and maintain a peace process. The


full extent of the significant role of Brendan Duddy may never be known


publicly. Tony Blair has warned that


a hard border after Brexit But the former prime minister


has said he believes there is a consensus in British


politics to avoid that outcome. Mr Blair was addressing a group


of MEPs in County Wicklow, a meeting also attended by the EU's


chief Brexit negotiator Here's our economics and business


editor, John Campbell. Few prime ministers have devoted as


much time to Ireland as Tony Blair. His policies culminated in the


signing of the Good Friday Agreement. Now he says he is


extremely anxious to make sure Brexit doesn't imperil that


agreement. There is a really common desire whenever other issues are in


relation to Brexit to make Northern Ireland a special case and make sure


that we do everything we possibly can to protect the Good Friday


Agreement, the peace process, and to protect that strong relationship


between the Republic of Ireland and the UK going forward. Thank you very


much. Among Mr Blair's audience was the EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel


Barnier. Later, Michel Barnier headed to Monaghan, do hear the


concerns of businesses and community leaders. Yesterday, he said there


would have to be some form of customs controls after Brexit.


Nobody wants to see the return of disruptive checks like these. There


are hopes a so-called smart border, using technology in like numberplate


recognition can be put in place, but Michel Barnier says he does not have


any answers yet and is still listening to ideas. Let us work, let


us work. I need to do work. We need to find a solution, technical and


operational solutions. He added that he appreciates how serious Brexit is


for the agricultural and food industries. They stand to be worst


affected by any new tariffs. One of the food exporters he met said his


concerns appeared to have been taken on board. He certainly appeared very


open-minded. He engaged fully with all of the participants that I have


to say he was not here to offer solutions, but he was listening to


the people and he wanted us to engage with them and offer solutions


for people in Ireland and particularly in the border region.


So Michel Barnier's visit has ended without is learning much about what


Brexit will really mean for the border. But we will be hearing a lot


more from him over the next couple of years.


A man who murdered a west Belfast student and amateur boxer has been


34-year-old Turkish national Orhan Koca,


of no fixed address, admitted killing Eamon Magee Junior.


He died after being stabbed in the chest and stomach


He had been hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father,


The families of ten people shot dead by the army in west Belfast in 1971


have welcomed the setting of a date for a full inquest into the deaths.


The hearing into the Ballymurphy killings will begin in September


next year and is expected to last three months.


That is for the work that needs to be done and for families like


yourselves that have waited all these years, closure is what they


have been campaigning for and we hope that our loved ones will be


declared innocent. Sport, and the main day's racing


at the North West 200 will take place tomorrow -


but one fan favourite One team not competing tomorrow is


Honda Racing, who have withdrawn because of John McGuinness's crash.


We are joined by our expert, Steve Parrish. Steve, big problems for


them. Yes, very much so. Bearing in mind their track record here, they


have had so much success year and it is really bad. Initially, it came to


your broken his leg and it was a compound fracture of his lower leg


and he also has two broken vertebrae is, three broken ribs, and he is


banged up. Begley, the safety features you at the North West 200


have got a lot better and he will be making a full recovery. Yes, best


wishes to him. What kind of day are we expecting tomorrow? A


barnstormer. How jihad is something to prove as does Glenn Irwin, riding


the big Ducati. It just goes on. There is an enormous field of very


fast riders and conditions were good for tomorrow and I am very excited.


I probably will not sleep tonight. OK, Steve, thank you very much. You


can see it all live on the BBC sport website and on the BBC Facebook page


and also commentary on BBC Radio Ulster.


Ballymena United have scored a victory. Although the goals arrived


in the second half of the game. Only four Glenn Aven to equalise when


Bruce Marshall reacted first to volley home for close range. Kevin


Brummitt was the hero as time ticked down, the substitute scoring against


his former club. He put them into the European competition for the


first time in 28 years. Internat's relegation play-off, Carrick Rangers


preserve their top-flight status, decent eating Institute for having


one. Coming up next week...BBC


Newsline's Mark Simpson tells us the inside story of the recent


return to Mauritius, Six years after Michaela McAreavy


was murdered, her family are still seeking justice. There are things


that will stay with me for the rest of my life. So they came here, many


miles from home. They appealed to the people of Mauritius for help.


They put pressure on politicians, and they returned to the scene of


the crime. And that's on BBC One


Northern Ireland next Onto the weekend weather forecast


now, with Cecilia Daly. Hello there. It is a bit of a mixed


bag this weekend. There will be some rain at times, particularly on


Saturday, some damp weather to start with. It improves and brightens up


but then there will be more showers later on. On Sunday, Sun sank to


begin with but some scattered showers in the afternoon. Blustery


at times. It will not be a cold wind. Not much win night but wet at


times. Bring living from east to west. Low cloud and mist over the


hills and also in parts of the east coast. It is a mild night so it will


stay mild into Saturday morning, but also dull and damp to begin with.


The rain will become patchy as well. Damp weather to begin with tomorrow,


if you are heading to the North West 200, bear striking up as the day


goes on. Showers before the afternoon is finished. Let's look at


the bigger picture. Cloudy with rain across parts of Scotland and


northern England. Right across the Republic of Ireland, Wales, and


Central and southern counties of England. More cloud with showery


rain over south-west Ireland and that will also come northwards later


in the day. Or the Balmoral show, it looks damp to begin with but then


becoming drier and brighter. Showers later in the day. Writers guys, with


some dry weather for a time tomorrow before some more showers develop in


the day. Most of that wet weather will cleared through by Sunday


morning, leading some sunshine and just a few showers on Sunday


afternoon. That is it until 615 tomorrow evening. Good night.